The build of the century

Unless you happen to live here in Seattle, where we had a major cable TV outage last night – or you just happen to have something useful to do with your time, money and brain cells – then you might have watched last night’s stunt (sorry, “sporting event”) where two overpaid thugs (sorry, “athletes”) danced around the ring with no more incentive than who would go home with 60% rather than 40% of a staggering 9-digit prize pot. And now this truly historic event has been suitably ridiculed (sorry, “immortalized”) in LEGO by Swedish character building duo SuckMyBrick!

17 comments on “The build of the century

  1. Tolwyn

    Yeah, that was pretty racist in a way and thanks for sharing with the world you’re small-minded view on sports. Was Mohammed Ali a thug? Frazier? Tell us more. Please.
    Save opinions like this for your personal blog or something. It really doesn’t belong here as your site is a representative of Lego.

  2. Iain Post author

    Well obviously boxers are not thugs. They are artists. Obviously.

    So how was I racist exactly? I’m absolutely *dying* to hear your logic behind that. Because such an accusation is a thousand times more offensive than my little tongue-in-cheek anti-sport tirade.

    Please, explain away. We’re all waiting…

  3. mmachine

    Not calling you racist per se, but there is a long history of the word “thug” being racially coded, and directed specifically at professions and communities in which black people play prominent roles. We can argue semantics all day about intention vs. interpretation, but the key factor here is that that is how this word has been historically used, and the implications it still has to a lot of people that have to deal with it. Might just wanna watch your language.

  4. Tananavalley

    @ Iain: I was also taken aback by your “little tongue-in-cheek anti-sport tirade”. A little tirade with some humor to go along with your post of an excellent build is one thing, but yours went on for almost the entire post with the builder only mentioned at the very end. The entire post just seemed angry and out of place on TBB.

    @ Tolwyn: It is very serious to accuse someone of racism. The only descriptive noun I could see was “thug” and nothing of anyone’s race. Racism is a big problem in this world, but let’s not find it where it is not.

  5. AK_brickster

    Man…. people are touchy around here. “Racist” is definitely a stretch. For some reason, people identify “thug” with being a derogatory term for black people, but that’s not what the word really means.
    Thug (noun): A brutal ruffian or assassin.
    Heck, the innuendo in the builder’s screen name is the most “offensive” thing in the whole post. Go find something actually worth trolling about, please.

    It’s a great build and the Paquiao character is particularly well-done.

  6. hipp5

    Racism is a huuuuge stretch.

    But I too was a little turned off by the editorializing in this post. What if Sports Illustrated posted the model along with lines like, “some nerd (sorry, ‘artist’) used their toys (sorry, ‘LEGO’) to construct a model of the fight…”? Some people like boxing, you obviously don’t. I don’t need to know about your views on boxing. Stick to what you do well and what this blog is about: LEGO.

  7. Josh

    “Thug” is not a racial term. Accusing someone of racism is a big deal. I, for one, hate racism with a passion. But I get just as hot when people shout “Racism!” in order to shut down opinions they don’t like. The statement that this term is historically associated with the black community is ridiculous. This term is NOT historically associated with African/Americans. The word actually originated in India and referenced gangs of thieves and assassins who robbed and murdered travelers. Has it been used to in regards to black criminals? Yes. It has also been used in reference to criminals of every other race, creed, heritage and nationality. Personally, the mental picture I get when I hear the word “thug” is of a mafia hit man. Does that mean I’m prejudiced against Sicilian/Italians? No. The term is not racist. Get over it.

    As for the tone of the post, Iain was continuing on in the same vein as the builder’s description. You might want to go check that out before you jump down his throat. Also contributors are more than welcome to editorialize. After all, this is our BLOG, where we post what we want to and say what we want to say about it. We do not represent LEGO.

    In regards to the comment about what Sports Illustrated might say about this build, that sort of thing happens all the time. Tech blogs, pop culture blogs, video game and movie blogs write demeaning posts about LEGO quite frequently. It doesn’t bother me. If you don’t care about Iain’s opinions on boxing, then simply move on to another post.

  8. mmachine

    Just saying it isn’t racist doesn’t erase the fact that it is taken that way by a significant number of people. It’s widely recognized by both current linguists and sociologists as a coded, racialized term.

    I for one am not accusing lain of premeditated racism, but what he wrote here can reasonably be taken as a perpetuation of a way of framing people that fits in very well with racist rhetoric. Language is flexible and the meanings of words change, and it isn’t unreasonable to account for that when we speak. It’s just the polite and considerate thing to do.

    Also, let’s not act like being accused of racism is the worst thing ever. Most of us have been racist in our words or actions, usually without intending to, at some point or another. Doesn’t make it ok, but correcting it in each other shouldn’t be about embarrassing or denigrating the person in question. It should be about making sure they know what’s up so that (if they aren’t hateful) they’ll be more conscientious in the future.

  9. SuckMyBrick

    Alright, hello!

    Not quite the comments one could hope for, sorry this took an ugly turn and to anyone feeling offended by our work or anything it may have brought down.

    We will stay out of that debate as it seems to have enough qualified opinions and experts.
    Just wanted to say thanks for the posting of our little creation Iain, and that we understood the intended humor of your post and read nothing else into it.

    As for our nickname being offensive, grow up! :)

    Rickard & Helen

  10. AK_brickster

    Haha, I am not offended by your screen name. Just meant that if people were going to be petty, there were other places to start other than crying about some sort of imaginary inferred racism. Build on!

  11. Tolwyn

    “in a way” it was racist all you need is a little google help and perhaps a little bit of “think before you publish.”

    Also… Playijng the “oh, I was being “tongue-in-cheek” after the fact? Hahah. Nice.

    It’s your site. it’s just my opinion that posts like that directly fly in the face of being a positive custodian and positive member of the Lego community. But you have enough fanbois to back you up, so carry on.

  12. AK_brickster

    So is the use of “thug” only deemed to be a racist term here because Mayweather is black? If this was Paquiao vs. “Joe Whiteguy”, would calling them thugs be racially offensive? The first commenter actually was upset because Ian called Paquiao a thug, but apparently it was an acceptable term for Mayweather. Seems like that guy is the actual racist here, if that’s the case.

    Anyway, I enjoy these dialogues and can always appreciate different opinions, so thank you to everyone who provided a polite, well-thought-out contribution.

    I once heard and like to live by when it comes to controversial Lego topics of discussion, “Less talking, more MOC’ing.” :)

  13. adik_sa_lego

    my comment on the usage of “thug” doesn’t have anything to do with race.

    Pacquiao has gone great lengths to get this far. From being a street vendor to the most recognizable fighter in the world, that doesn’t make one a thug. He’s the rags-to-riches story that everyone thinks is too good to be true. Guess what, it is true.

    So yeah, someone who gritted his way out of poverty (poverty you can’t even imagine) to where he is now, that’s no thug.

  14. kjjohn

    Lol “thug” is not racist. And yes, the description did seem a little bit critical of the sport, but I’m giving it a pass because a lot of Lego geeks like us generally don’t enjoy many sports to begin with. The only thing I’m disappointed about is the lack of a Lego scene with Mayweather and Floyd hugging it out hahaha

  15. Sixpax

    You apparently learn something new every day. This is the first, in almost 40 years, that I’ve ever heard the term thug be considered racist. Maybe its a country based thing?
    As to the build, about the only thing missing is the pre-filled in result.

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